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Comet

East Asian Village Dog

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“Rescued as a puppy from a food factory in Taiwan”

Place of Birth

Taiwan

Current Location

Los Gatos, California, USA

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Genetic Breed Result

East Asian Village Dog

Village dog trace breed analysis

Village dogs often have short stretches of DNA that match purebred dogs, due to a distant common ancestor or a more recent mating between a purebred and a village dog. Comet has short stretches of DNA in common with this breed:

What exactly are village dogs?

Village dogs are the free-breeding, free-roaming “outside” dogs found around the world living in and around human settlements big and small. They are also known as island dogs, pariah dogs, or free-ranging dogs.

Many village dog populations precede the formation of modern breed dogs.

They make up about 3/4s of the billion or so dogs living on Earth today. They serve as trash cleaners, sentinels, and even sometimes companions while still retaining much of their freedom. Embark’s founders have studied village dogs on six continents since 2007 in their efforts to understand the history, traits, and health of the domestic dog. Through this work they have discovered the origins of the dog in Central Asia, and also identified genetic regions involved in domestication and local adaptation, such as the high altitude adaptation in Himalayan dogs. Embark is the only dog DNA test that includes diverse village dogs from around the world in its breed reference panel.

So what breeds are in my dog?

In a very real sense, East Asian Village Dog is the actual breed of your dog. Village dogs like this descend from separate lines of dogs than the lines that have been bred into standardized breeds like Labradors and Poodles. If you trace the family tree of Comet back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

East Asian Village Dog

Many years ago, when wolves began scavenging our hunting camps, they became gradually attuned to human life. Genetic changes in those wolves over time led to tameness, small body size and early age of first reproduction that soon after yielded what we see today in the East Asian village dogs.

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Village dogs have lived just about everywhere across the world for thousands of years. Long before there were any recognized dog breeds, there were village dogs around the fires and trash heaps of early human villages. Comet is part of this ancient heritage, not descended from a specific breed, but continuing the ancient lineage of dogs that were our first, best friends.

Embark's co-founders studied Village Dogs on six continents in their efforts to understand the history, traits, and health of the domestic dog. Through this work, they discovered evidence for the origins of the dog in Central Asia , and they also identified genetic regions involved in domestication and local adaptation. As a result, Embark has the largest Village Dog reference panel of any canine genetics company.

We compared Comet's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Comet's DNA is most similar to those village dogs. The areas of darkest red reflect the greatest similarity to our village dog panel.

Village Dog Map
Similarity to village dog groups around the world. Darker red reflects greater similarity.

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Traits

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Through Comet’s mitochondrial DNA we can trace his mother’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that his ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

A6

Haplotype

A92/117

Map

A6

Comet’s Haplogroup

A6 is a rare maternal lineage. The only breed we have seen it in to date is Tibetan Mastiffs. Otherwise, we only see it in village dogs in Nepal.

A92/117

Comet’s Haplotype

The lone member of the A6 haplogroup, this rare haplotype occurs in Tibetan Mastiffs and village dogs in Nepal.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Tibetan Mastiffs are the only registered breed to have this rare haplogroup.

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Through Comet’s Y-chromosome we can trace his father’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that his ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

A1a

Haplotype

H1a.14

Map

A1a

Comet’s Haplogroup

Some of the wolves that became the original dogs in Central Asia around 15,000 years ago came from this long and distinguished line of male dogs. After domestication, they followed their humans from Asia to Europe and then didn't stop there. They took root in Europe, eventually becoming the dogs that founded the Vizsla breed 1,000 years ago. The Vizsla is a Central European hunting dog, and all male Vizslas descend from this line. During the Age of Exploration, like their owners, these pooches went by the philosophy, "Have sail, will travel!" From the windy plains of Patagonia to the snug and homey towns of the American Midwest, the beaches of a Pacific paradise, and the broad expanse of the Australian outback, these dogs followed their masters to the outposts of empires. Whether through good fortune or superior genetics, dogs from the A1a lineage traveled the globe and took root across the world. Now you find village dogs from this line frolicking on Polynesian beaches, hanging out in villages across the Americas, and scavenging throughout Old World settlements. You can also find this "prince of patrilineages" in breeds as different as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Border Collies, Scottish Terriers, and Irish Wolfhounds. No male wolf line has been as successful as the A1a line!

H1a.14

Comet’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1a haplogroup, this haplotype occurs mainly in village dogs from Central and South Americas, but has also been spotted in Papua New Guinea. It also occurs frequently in Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Dogs with A1a lineage travelled during European Colonial times.

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